Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
alert-–-kurnell-sydney-drownings:-two-women-named-as-victims-of-freak-wave-that-swept-them-from-rocks-as-local-indian-community-mournsAlert – Kurnell Sydney drownings: Two women named as victims of freak wave that swept them from rocks as local Indian community mourns

A close-knit Indian community in Sydney is mourning the deaths of two mums who were swept from the rocks and drowned while enjoying a picnic with their young families.

Indian nationals Marwa Hashim and Nirsha Haris have been identified as the victims of the tragedy, after the pair were washed off the edge of the rock face into the ocean, at Cape Solander, a lookout at Kurnell in Sydney’s south, about 4.30pm on Monday. 

Ms Hashim, 35 and Ms Haris, 38 were among a group of five who were walking along a rock shelf, when a ‘freak wave’ hit them and swept them out into the sea.

Marwa’s sister, Roshna Hashim was also swept away but managed to scramble back onto rocks and helped to shore by bystanders.

Marwa and Nirsha were not only best friends but were both also mums.

Ms Hashim arrived in in 2017 to work as an architect but in recent years worked as a senior planner at Transport for NSW.

Her friend Ms Haris previously worked in public relations, Nine News reported. 

Ms Hashim’s sister Roshna sustained minor injuries and was treated for hypothermia.

She was taken to St George Hospital, where she remains in a stable condition.

Two other bystanders were also treated for hypothermia.

The Sydney Malaylee Association confirmed the deaths of the two women in a heartbreaking Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon.

The Malayalee are an ethnic group who originate from Kerala, a state in southern India. 

‘Sydney Malayalee Community is saddened by the horrific and sudden death of two of our members Marwa Hashim and Nirsha Haris,’ the post read. 

‘Sydney Malayalee Association offer our heartfelt condolence to the bereaved families.’

Friends have urged the n government to help with visas so their families back home in India can travel there to attend their funerals. 

Emergency services, including paramedics and police officers rushed to the scene and launched a large scale search and rescue operation. 

Three rescue helicopters were searching for the duo before paramedics arrived. 

The two women were pulled from the water unconscious but they were unable to be revived, despite the best efforts of emergency responders. 

Bystander Rabih Yassinne has been hailed a hero after he helped pull Roshna from the water after Marwa’s husband approached him asking for help.

‘He came to me saying please help, [he said] please there’s people drowning down there ,’ Yashinne told Nine News.

‘I took her out, it was very, very difficult because the wave was so heavy.

‘We managed to take her out and she was unconscious.’

NSW Police Marine Area Command Superintendent Joe McNulty expressed his condolences to the families and loved ones of the two women. 

‘They’ve gone down there with good intentions to enjoy public holiday on NSW finest coastline, and stepped down to a wet, slippery rock platform, and ended up being swept off the rocks by a freak wave,’ Superintendent McNulty said.   

He said large waves often crash into the rocks and the water exerts a lot of pressure, that can be dangerous to people visiting the popular lookout. 

‘When a wave hits that [rock platform], the wave stands up and has a significant amount of extra force that would knock those people from their feet and drag them back into the water,’ he said. 

He warned people visiting the beach, particularly those who are not confident swimmers to stay the near the edge of the water and to stand at a distance, if they want to catch a glimpse of the waves. 

‘Never turn your back on the ocean. Always be prepared when you’re visiting any rock platform, any beach, any location, where there’s large waves are to be careful,’ he said.  

Cape Solander is a popular spot to catch a glimpse of humpback whales, that swim close to the cost during the winter months.  

A crime scene was set up in the area on Monday afternoon as police launched an investigation.

‘No suspicious circumstances have been identified at this time,’ a statement read. 

A report will be prepared for the coroner.  

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